ViacomCBS will raise the curtain on its rebranded and expanded streaming service Paramount+ on March 4, the company said today, marking the latest step for its efforts to compete with OTT heavy hitters like Netflix and Disney+.
The rebranded service, which will replace the long-operating streamer CBS All Access and will include new originals from across the ViacomCBS portfolio, will arrive in the U.S., Canada and in Latin America on March 4, and will premiere in the Nordics on March 25, the company said. The platform will debut in Australia later in the year.
ViacomCBS plans to detail to investors its broader streaming strategy, which includes Paramount+ along with free, ad-supported streamer Pluto TV and premium subscription service Showtime OTT, on Feb. 24, a week before the service’s planned relaunch.
The early March premiere date means that Paramount+ will debut to consumers less than a month following the upcoming Super Bowl broadcast, slated to air on CBS on Feb. 7. The timing makes it almost certain that the game will serve as a considerable marketing opportunity for the upcoming service, which ViacomCBS hopes will attract a wide swath of viewers.
ViacomCBS, created after CBS and Viacom merged in December 2019, has looked to position its company to better capitalize on the opportunity presented by direct-to-consumer streaming, and underwent an executive overhaul in October to streamline its operations and make streaming more centralized within the company.
With Paramount+, the company is looking to leverage its library of films and shows to attract viewers while capitalizing on the expanding opportunity in international markets with a globally recognized brand name.
Unlike competitors that have spent the last year debuting entirely new services to consumers, the debut of Paramount+ will require reeducating consumers who may have familiarity or affinity with the soon-to-be-shuttered CBS All Access brand.
Like many other entertainment companies, streaming is becoming an increasingly important part of ViacomCBS’s business. During a call with investors in November, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish detailed the company’s streaming growth. Domestic streaming and digital video revenue rose to $636 million, a 56% increase from the previous year, and the company’s subscription streamer revenue saw 78% year-over-year growth.
Ad-supported free streamer Pluto TV also saw wins, with domestic monthly active users growing to 28.4 million and 36 million monthly active users globally, Bakish said.